A few months ago I took a trip to Thailand and Vietnam with some friends. South East Asia was fascinating and I was overwhelmed by amazing new sights, sounds, culture and fashion. From the Vietnamese conical hats to the pollution face masks, the romanticized east earned a place in my heart. I was also fascinated by how elegantly the working class women carrying heavy basket loads would dress in top to toe print and look so graceful while doing hard labour. Bangkok teens wearing high end labels would pair up their western inspired outfits with pollution face masks whilst walking through glitzy Bangkok shopping malls, showing how they’d adapted certain cultural and environmental trends into fashion trends. The melting pot of eastern inspired fashion meeting western globalized trends was a big inspiration for me and I loved the spin on trends that was a result of the mashing of cultures.
Fast forward three months and I’m back in Cape Town at Wembley Studios on a cold and windy Saturday morning. Lesca Steyn is setting up her lights and Charmaine De Kock is busy setting out her make up. Our gorgeous model, Alien, is coincidentally Thai and telling me how she got the nickname Alien from her friends at school years back, because of her elongated proportions. I had seen her that past weekend walking the catwalks of Cape Town Fashion Week whilst thinking how lucky we were to land the tallest Thai girl I’ve seen yet, who looked like a hybrid of Bjork’s features and Alek Wek’s proportions. She is amazingly unique.
Our visions seemed aligned. Lesca shot amazing images with her sculpted lighting and tuned eye and Charmaine transformed gorgeous Alien from one amazing look to another with hair and makeup changes. And kudos to our gorgeous model, Alien. She worked like magic. It felt like everything had come full circle, from South East Asia back to our home town. Playing on the black and white graphic trend mixed with east meets west, we clashed patterned backdrops with graphic styling. The result? Culture Clash.
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